I am vertically challenged at 64 inches and really like the KLR650. Has anyone approaching my height (or lack of) had success lowering the KLR and, if so, has it had a negative effect on handleing? Really don't want to ride my Honda Shadow to Central America.
I'm close to your height. I'm 66 inches tall. With the luggages on my bike, my feets are almost completly touching the ground. Here's what I did:
First I would recommand you to replace the foam of your seat. This will lower the bike and make your ride way more confortable than the stock seat. You don't need to buy an expensive corbin seat.
Just go to a local store where they sell foam. Foam is very cheap, so you can buy foam of different stiffnest and select how hard you want your seat. Be sure to ride on the road and off-road with your new seat before putting back the seat cover. If you ride only on the road you may select a foam a bit to hard for off-road. If I remember right I selected a foam of 5lbs?? I give you tips below on how to modify your seat.
Then add your luggages and see how the bike will drop. I changed the rear shock spring for a 450lbs/inch from eshocks.com and have the front progressive spring (no need to buy the progressive shock for travelling, save that money!). I weight 165lbs + 10lbs with gear and have about 100lbs on the bike.
For my height, this setup is enough for me.
But if it's not for you, you may look at using lowering links. You can even make them yourself if you want with metal. With these and luggage you should touch your feet on the ground almost completly.
If you had a lowering link you may want to lower the forks at the same time to keep the same steering angle (i.e. turning radius). But this way you won´t be able to use a fork brace. Bad idea for me if you have a lot of luggages.
Hope this help,
How to modify your seat:
- When you'll buy the foam, it will be in the form of a rectangle. So you'll need a knife to cut the foam in the shape of your seat. During this process go sit on the bike with the new foam a few times to see what you like best: how thick and how wide you like you seat.
- Then you'll need to smooth the edge of the seat. So you'll need to use your home drill and instead of a drilling mesh, use a cylinder with sand paper around it. You'll find that an Home Depot. I don't know exaclty how it's called but If you look at a dremel toolkit you'll understand. But buy the biggest cylinder you can. It make the job a lot easier.
- Then test ride it! Ride it with only the foam for a few days. Or even better, try a few foam density until you are satisfied. Why? Because your seat cover will not like it to be put on and off. You'll damage it too much.
- Then you need to put back the seat cover.
You´ll need an electric stapler and a friend to help you hold the cover.
And that's it! You have a new seat a lot more confortable and it cost you about 6$US if you already have the tools and a bit of your time.
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